A MOTHER’S heart attack while giving birth helped save the life of her next baby born two years later.
Sharon Deacon, of Keighley, suffered a cardiac arrest as she went into labour for the birth of daughter Jamie-Leigh in 2015.
Doctors saved the lives of both mother and child but decided that for Sharon’s next pregnancy the delivery should be carried out at a specialist paediatric unit.
As a result, Sharon was at Leeds General Infirmary where specialists were able to give immediate care to newborn Ellie-Marie when they discovered she had an unexpected, life-threatening condition.
Ellie-Marie had Pierre Robin Sequence, a genetic disorder meaning she could not breathe on her own when she was born and needed to be ventilated immediately. Ellie remained at LGI for two months fighting for her life, undergoing three major surgeries.
The Deacons were able to live at nearby Eckersley House so they could remain near Ellie Marie during her long period of treatment and recovery.
Sharon has revealed her story to highlight the support her family received from the Sick Children’s Trust, which runs Eckersley House.
The trust, founded in 1982 by paediatric specialists, provides free accommodation for families whose children face long hospital stays.
During Ellie-Marie’s birth on July 31, 2017, Sharon was rendered unconscious by a general anaesthetic so she could have a planned caesarean at 38 weeks – but the birth did not go as planned. Sharon said: “It took the doctors over 45 minutes to establish an airway and all that time my partner Darren watched helplessly, fearing I might never meet our new daughter.
“An hour later, when I gained consciousness, I was disorientated and distressed. My baby was hooked up to a ventilator with tubes and wires all over her tiny body. My heart broke. I felt helpless, I couldn’t even hold her.”
As the Deacons faced daily journeys from Keighley to Leeds, a nurse suggested she contact the Sick Children’s Trust, and four days later a place was found at Eckersley House.
Sharon said: “Jamie-Leigh settled in immediately. She loved the playrooms and all the attention she got from the staff – there was even an outdoor area where she could ride a little bike.”
“We will be forever grateful for The Sick Children’s Trust.”
The Deacons are urging local people to join in the Big Chocolate Tea, which each year raises money for the charity.
Visit sickchildrenstrust.org for details of how to help.